2013 Tesla Model S Base 60 kWh 

  • $70k
  • 60 kWh Plug-in EV
  • 94 city 97 hwy
9.2 Out of 10
$69,900
 
Its sheer size, graphic design, bright display, and lightning-quick response really make any other car's touchscreen interface feel 10 years old.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
INCH INFOTAINMENT SCREENThe Model S's standard 17-inch touch screen is remarkable and not just due to sheer size.
by KBB (Apr, 2013)

RideNerd Review Our evaluation of the Tesla Model S

Affordability

Will it break the bank?

Model S Base
6.9
LEAF S
9.4
Annual cost

Fuel economy

Is it a gas sipper or guzzler?

Model S Base
9.9
LEAF S
10.0
EPA highway mileage

Air quality

Help the world breathe easier with higher scores.

Model S Base
10.0
LEAF S
10.0
EPA Smog Score

Climate friendly

Higher scores leave less of an impact on global warming.

Model S Base
10.0
LEAF S
10.0
combined CO2/mile and EPA greenhouse gas score

9.2

RideNerd Score

Affordability, Fuel economy, Air quality and Climate friendly

Model S Base
9.2
LEAF S
9.9

Benchmarks Real world tests of the Tesla Model S

EPA Greenhouse Gas Score The EPA ranks cars based on their climate change impact; 10 is best.

Model S Base
10
BMW M5
4

EPA Smog Score The EPA ranks cars based on their air quality impact; 10 is best.

Model S Base
10
BMW M5
5

Annual Cost The yearly cost to drive 15,000 miles, including fuel and car payments.

Model S Base
$14,637
S63 AMG
$31,061

Driving Range on a Charge How far can you go before you need to recharge?

Model S Base
206 miles
Chevrolet Volt
40 miles
LEAF S
n.d.

Time to Charge Battery From zero to ready to go, charging time in hours.

Model S Base
10 hours
Chevrolet Volt
4 hours
LEAF S
8 hours

Range Gained Per Hour of Charging How quickly the car regains driving range.

Model S Base
20 miles
Chevrolet Volt
10 miles
LEAF S
n.d.

Reviews Word on the street for the Tesla Model S


8.6
While we wonder about the distraction that comes from relegating all the minor controls to the center display, it has large icons and clear, easy-to-read fonts, so it's more usable than any we've seen.

9.6

Overall

9.1 Out of 10

What People Are Saying Give it to me straight

Performance

We measured 0-to-60 mph in 4.6 seconds, a quarter-mile of 13.3 seconds at 104 mph, and a governed top speed of 134 mph.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2012)
The screen is easily reconfigurable, bright, vivid, intuitive, and reacts to taps, pinch and drag gestures with snappy immediacy.
by KBB (Apr, 2013)
Tesla says the hottest model, the Signature Performance ($106,570), which has the largest available battery and produces the most torque, will hit 60 mph in the mid-fours.
by Car and Driver (Aug, 2012)

Interior

Standard Model S features include 12-way-adjustable heated front seats, cloth/synthetic-leather upholstery, eight airbags, a 7-speaker 200-watt audio system that lacks a CD player but includes two USB inputs, and a 17-inch screen handling climate, entertainment and vehicle controls.
by KBB (Apr, 2013)
Inside, the front seats are supportive, the driving position is good, and most of the controls are well-situated.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
The Model S's spaciousfive-plus-two-passenger cabin is enabled by its compact propulsion system and clever component layout.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2012)

Handling

On the standard setting, the air suspension passed small road imperfections through the tires into the car more than we'd expected.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
There are also analog facsimile gauges in the cluster behind the steering wheel; they're crisp and clear, even when bright light filters through the glass roof panels.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
Matching the thrill of seamless and instant electric thrust are agile handling enabled by the vehicle's low center of gravity and a quick steering ratio that is fun while also hindering stability at speed.
by KBB (Apr, 2013)

Body style

The 2013 Tesla Model S makes a good family sedan-though we doubt the 7-seat claim-because it's comfortable, quiet, and seemingly well-built.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
Perhaps the Model S’s closest competitors are the couture German luxury sedans—the Audi A7, the BMW Gran Coupe, and the Mercedes-Benz CLS.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2012)
Normal setting felt less aggressive than in the Roadster.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)

Powertrain

The black oval "grille" at the front is actually almost entirely a blanking plate, to improve airflow around a car that doesn't need a radiator sized to cool an entire engine.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)
And its underside is as smooth as any we’ve seen, thanks to front and rear belly pans, no exhaust pipes, and a flat battery pack under the passenger compartment.
by Car and Driver (Dec, 2012)
It's almost too easy to hit 50 or 60 mph on city streets because the car's rear-mounted powertrain is so smooth and quiet.
by The Car Connection (Nov, 2012)

Specifications Full list of technical specs

general

Brand Tesla
Body style Sedan
Model year 2013
City range 206 miles
Highway range 211 miles
MSRP $70k
Annual cost $14,637

power & handling

Max torque 443 ft-lb @ 0 RPM
Max HP 302 HP @ 5,000 RPM
Power-to-weight ratio 15.39 lb/hp
Curb-to-curb turning radius 37 feet

suspension, wheels & brakes

Rear suspension Multi link
Front brakes 13.98 in Ventilated Disc
Rear brakes 14.37 in Ventilated Disc
Front wheel width 245 mm
Front wheel diameter 19 inch
Front wheel aspect ratio 45

safety features

Active head restraints No
Airbags
  1. Head curtain
  2. Knee
  3. Driver
  4. Passenger
  5. Side
Antilock brakes Standard
Child door locks Standard
Electronic stability control Standard
Traction control Standard
Rear camera Standard
Rear sensor N/A
Park assist system N/A
Communication system None

physical dimensions

Width 77.3 in
Front track width 65.4 in
Height 56.5 in
Ground clearance 6.1 in
Length 195.9 in
Wheelbase 116.5 in
Curb weight 4,647 lb
Has a rear spoiler Yes
Seats 5 seats
Front seat room 55 ft³
Rear seat room 40 ft³

emissions

EPA smog score 10
EPA GHG score 10
Combined CO2/mile 0 g

engine & drivetrain

Air compressor None
Fuel Plug-in EV
Paddle shifters N/A
Gearing type Traditional
Transmission 1-speed Automatic 2WD
240V charge time 10 hours
Motor output 270 kW
Battery capacity 60 kWh
Battery specific energy 170 Watt-hour/kg
Regenerative braking axles Rear

stereo & entertainment

Brand Generic
Has a speed sensitive volume No
Has a subwoofer No
Auxiliary input Yes
AM/FM radio N/A
CD player N/A
CD changer N/A
Satellite radio N/A
Entertainment system N/A

features

Cruise control Standard
Front A/C Standard
Front passenger A/C Standard
Keyless entry Standard
Keyless ignition N/A
Sun roof N/A
Navigation system N/A
Roof rails N/A
Power locks Standard
Power mirrors Standard
Power outlets Standard
Power steering Standard
Power windows Standard
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